Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - A Professional Education Company
Professional English Training Center Located In UK.
Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com
www.eloquentlearning.com

Asking questions politely. Could, would and may | English Time Ask Elo

by | Jul 9, 2019 | English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

Asking questions politely. Could, would and may

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Asking questions politely. Could, would and may

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Asking questions politely. Could, would and may

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Asked by @ Alberto Vicente de Oliveira (Community Student)

Asking questions politely. Could, would and may

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Answered by @ Elo Kasia

 

Elo Kasia is the English Mentor for  Asking questions politely Could would and mayEnglish Grammar and Speaking Academy” ,  Join now.

 

Asking questions politely Could would and may

Asking questions politely. Could, would and may | English Time Ask Elo

 

 

Asking questions politely Could would and may Question Time: Asking questions politely. Could, would and may  | English Time Ask Elo

 

  Asking questions politely Could would and may  @ Alberto Vicente de Oliveira, Thank you for your question.

 

  Asking questions politely Could would and may  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.  

 

Asking questions politely. Could, would and may

 

Being polite is an important part of learning how to speak English naturally and there are many ways of making our questions more polite.

 

Basically, there are three types of questions in English: direct, indirect, and question tags and any of them can be used to make polite questions, but indirect questions would be considered most formal (and most difficult to master).

 
1. “Could” and “would” for asking polite questions
 
 
Could and would are often confused by English learners as they can have many meanings, here, we will look at asking questions politely using “could” and “would”.
 
 
It is possible to use “can” in informal situations, however, if you want to sound super polite, the best way to do it is to have the following:
 
 
excuse me/ pardon me + could/ would + please
 
  • Excuse me, could you help me get off the bus, please? (rather than “Can you help me..”)
  • Pardon me, could you show me the way to the station, please?
  • Could you explain this to me, please?
  • Excuse me, would you give me hand, please?
  • Pardon me, would you tell me the time, please?
  • Excuse me, could I ask you something?

 

These are all direct questions and all you need is to add “could” or “would” and excuse me/ please. There is no change in question structure.

 
2. “Would (you mind if)” is more commonly used in “indirect questions”, Would you mind if I sat here?
 
 
3. “Would you like” for polite offers
 
 
  • Would you like anything to drink?
  • Would you like to join us for dinner?
  • Would you like to see my house?
 
4. “May” to ask for permission
 
 
“May” is used as a formal means to ask for permission and is very polite. It is usually used with ‘I’, and sometimes ‘we’.
 
 
  • May I come in, please?
  • May I use the telephone?
  • May we ask you for help?
  • May we make a suggestion?

 

Study these different forms and practise politeness in everyday situations. Make a simple statement, ex. “Open the window” and try saying it in a polite way, ex. “Could/would you open the window, please.” Or “wait a minute” can change into “Could you, please, wait a minute?” Make “please” and “excuse me/pardon me” part of your everyday vocabulary. You may not believe it, but you can never be too polite in English! It really makes a huge difference how you sound and how you come across to (especially) a native speaker.

 
 
Make sure you do our *TT exercises to practise asking questions in English.
 
 
 
 
Elo Kasia is the Community Mentor for English Grammar and Speaking Academy“.

 

Director at Eloquent Learning Online School www.eloquentlearning.com.

 

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent Learning - A Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com

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